Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let's see how we've grown!

This school year went by so quickly!

    First Day of School                                                Last Day of School

Some things never change!

Portfolio Day

The kids were so excited for their Portfolio Celebrations at school!

The teachers keep samples of their work throughout the year from every subject.
It's so fun to have them show us all the progress they have made!

They also love showing us all the special pieces they have decorating the walls!
 Special art projects are on display, too!
 Classroom tours give us a glimpse of their day.
 McClain joined the "they never get my name correct" club.
Cloe shared her science presentation with us!
It received "exceeds expectations"!

Cloe also had a special presentation for us that she had created on the computer.

 We couldn't be more grateful for the awesome teachers our children had this year!
They were truly amazing!

LEGO Photos

I've been taking classes this spring to keep my teaching license current.
My favorite class has been iPods and iPads for the Classroom.  
Cody wishes a class requirement would have been to purchase an iPad.
It's been really fun to discover new apps and actually be required to look around the app store and itunes for practical things to use with children.  We have an arsenal of education apps ready to play this summer!

Although not really education, the kids have really got a kick out of the LEGO Photo app.  (It's free!)
Here are their favorite creations!

Cloe's birthday party

Cloe's birthday was awhile ago, too!
Life is just buzzing by so quickly.
I must say, a group of nine year old girls enjoying a tea party was the best birthday party experience we've had yet!
These girls were so polite and *calm*.
It was so fun to enjoy a fancy tea with them!
 We used fancy dishes inherited from my mom's stash.
Appetizers included apples and dip, veggies and dip, and veggies sticks (my favorite!).
 We decorated with some pink doilies my grandma had made for me when I was a little girl.
The tea pot was polished and used too!
 Here are the six fancy, beautifully dressed up little girls who all used their very best manners the entire time!
 Gift time!
I must say, the gifts get "better" with age too!
So many cute, practical girly things!
Our activity and party favors were amazing, personalized canvases from our favorite artist, Abby!
There's nothing better than tying an activity and a party favor all together!
 The girls diligently painted for a very long time!
 The boys got in on the painting action too.
 It was their reward for being "servers" during the party.
Happy 9th birthday, Cloe!
We loved celebrating the gift of YOU!

Spring Concert

The boys had a spring concert a few weeks ago.
Kindergarten kids all singing are so cute!
Their music teacher has to have the energy of 10 people--she's quite amazing!

The boys were very excited to see their artwork displayed in the hallway and to get to bring it home that night, too!

Kindergarten went waaaaay too fast,
and these boys are waaaay too grown up! *tears*
Love them!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mullets and Millet


Not to be confused with the mullet:
 Haha...gotta love it!

Millet, according to wikipedia, is a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder

Yes, millet would be that little yellow ball you often see in bird food.
It is delicious as people food, too!

We tried Whole Food's recipe for Tomato, Basil, and Millet Salad.
Tasty flavor-party-in-your-mouth!

Give it a try.
If using bird food grain weirds you out, try quinoa or barley!

1 cup uncooked millet, rinsed and drained
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups black-eyed peas
1 cup chopped green onions (from our garden!)
1/3 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
6 large leaves lettuce (from our garden!  woot!)

Toast millet in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and just golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. (This smells so good!)  Remove skillet from heat and carefully add broth. Return to heat and bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and millet is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer millet to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and set aside to let cool.

Add black-eyed peas, green onions and basil to millet, toss gently and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, then pour dressing over millet mixture and toss to coat. Add tomatoes, then spoon salad over lettuce leaves and serve.

So fresh and fit for even a superhero!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Number Project

This blog has a serious attention deficit disorder...posts are rare and all over the place these days!

Buuuuut, we finally finished this project today, and I can't wait for you all to see it!
The idea vaguely came from a number project I saw on Pinterest.

We used all the "special" numbers in our family:

7.5.11 = Maddox
1.1.06 = McClain and Carson
4.24.03 = Cloe
6.19.99 = anniversary
8.20.77 & 2.8.77 (ahem) = Cody & Londa

I custom-sized a sheet in Pages to match the size of the board we had for Cody's office wall. 
It's 15" x 60".

Then I started inputting our numbers, sizing, and arranging.

Once we liked the placement, 
I had a minor meltdown over my inability to print this
Cody purchased Mindcad Tiler which allowed us to print the numbers like tiles in a banner.

We taped it together and used some awesomely non-messy and super easy-to-work-with spray adhesive  (Lies, spray adhesive can instructions.  All lies.) to adhere it to contact paper.

 Looking fine and feeling good about this project here!

I spent two hours diligently cutting out each number in a very precise, cheerful manner.
Then I discovered we (me) had adhered them to the wrong side of the contact paper.  Oy!

Spray Adhesive (grrrr)   
Cut (again)

 We stuck the letters to the board and set books on the project to help the contact paper adhere to the board.  (This project does not do well with high humidity. Curly paper persisted!)

Next, we used an entire can of white satin spray paint to give the board a nice even coat of paint.
After a few minutes of drying, we peeled the numbers off.
 To finish the project, we distressed the board with sandpaper.  This gives it a little character and covers any spray painting flaws that might have shown up.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

 Oh Maddie-pooh!
Can you believe you are 10 months old already?

This year is indeed going by crazy fast!

The last month seems to be the month that you have hit your finest baby stride.

You sleep like a champ:  12+ hours every night and 2 2-hour naps.
You're just like clock work!

You seemed to have forgotten that you're still a baby and squawk in your highchair until we serve you the finest table food around.  (aka lots of steamed vegetables and shredded meats!)

You scootch around on your bottom anywhere your little heart seems to mostly desire right at my feet...which I love!

You pull yourself up and try to snag the remote controls
And I put them out of your reach.
I'm on to you, Little Man!

You love your brothers and sister so much!
I can't wait for summer break--you're going to flip with excitement when they're around to play with you all day long!

We love you so much, Maddox!
Your smiles and twinkly eyes brighten the room.
Your babbles, coos, and giggles bring cheer to everyone around.

Happy 10 months, Baby!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A letter to Rebecca Black

Dear Miss Black,
Awhile ago, you came out with a catchy little pop tune.  All the kids ate it up.   Every Friday, we'd hop out of bed and start singing your fancy little jingle.  It was oh so fun.
But then, things started to change over time.  I no longer could think of the names of the days of the week without saying them in a little bippety songy it's monday,, fun, fun...sort of way.
Even today, as I was innocently trying to put together sweet little May Day Baskets, the only thing I could think was it's may day, may day, gotta get down on may day...
I'm thinking things need to change.  Could you switch up your jingles a bit?  How about turning down that inspirational road and adding some helpful lyrics...there's laundry, laundry, gotta go do the laundry.  I mean, if it's going to be stuck in my head, it might as well encourage me with the multitude of tasks to do around the house!  Agree?
Glad we could take care of this.  Seriously, if you're looking for some direction with your singing career, I'm sure I could help.  Really.

Thanks so much.

A Sneaky Mommy, mommy gotta go be a mommy...looking forward to the weekend, weekend...


Happy May Day!